Activision 'crazy' to drop True Crime - Square Enix exec

Publisher's US president Mike Fischer says he can't understand why Call of Duty firm let go of the game, claims project will be a sleeper hit like Dead Island.

Activision was "crazy" to drop True Crime: Hong Kong, according to Square Enix United States president and CEO Mike Fischer. Speaking to Venture Beat, the executive said he could not speak to why Activision canceled the game, but said picking it up was like finding a diamond in the rough.

Square Enix says Sleeping Dogs will tell a story as rich as Mass Effect.

Fischer went on to note that the game--revived as Sleeping Dogs--has drawn inspiration from the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs and its United States remake The Departed. He also claimed Sleeping Dogs has an open-world feel akin to Arkham City, combat strong enough to rival a proper fighting game, driving sequences compelling enough to match Need for Speed, and a story "every bit as rich" as Mass Effect.

Fischer believes Sleeping Dogs will be a sleeper hit along the lines of last year's Dead Island, noting it will catch gamers by surprise.

"The thrill that I love in bringing out a game like Sleeping Dogs is when nobody sees it coming. And then, boom, it's the surprise of the holiday," he said.

Sleeping Dogs is an open-world action game set in Hong Kong. The game puts players in the boots of Wai Shen, an undercover police officer fighting through the seedy criminal underworld of the sprawling city. Sleeping Dogs will give players a variety of combat options, including gunplay and a hand-to-hand combat system that lets players use martial arts to bring down their enemies.

Sleeping Dogs is currently in development at United Front Games and is due out for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on August 14. For more on Sleeping Dogs, check out GameSpot's latest preview.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

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Discussion

269 comments
GKRider
GKRider

I'm glad to say, Sleeping Dogs, is an oustanding game.

monster637
monster637

I been playing the yakuza series since the first 1 had a U.S. release on ps2.Once i got a glimps of this game, when they were just talking about it being dropped.......i pre ordered it

dakan45
dakan45

If it has the driving/shooting/racing/fighting and upgardes with stuff to buy like the last 2, it will be great.

 

ACTIVISION doesnt seem to care about making money of games, they care to make money from established licenses that work, cod, james bond, transformers, spiderman, movie games. You know, stuff that will always have an audience.

 

Perhaps thats for the best.

waterproof9
waterproof9

I was excited when this was a True Crime title.  Still excited that the title was thought to be good enough to be finished after being dropped.

vivalatour
vivalatour

Hmm, maybe Square Enix will pick up "Dirty Harry" , it would be sort of funny if Activision revived it though !

Calikidd86
Calikidd86

This game is looking nice, I rarely buy games first day but I'm interested in this title

stifstumik
stifstumik

God, of course Activision cancelled. It would mean they'd actually have to work! :O Selling the same game year after year is a lot easier you know (Call of Duty?)... Go for it Square Enix, you have my vote to kick ass with those dogs! : )

essam24
essam24

that's wonderful , a new Competitor for GTA , but in Japan xD

nocturnalkisses
nocturnalkisses

holy $h*t! Rockstar needs to take some notes from Sleeping Dog Devs. This is what GTA IV SHOULD have been. They got me excited, but we all know trailers and gameplay can be misleading. i just hope with the "face respect" system that the game doesn't force you do earn respect to do more missions just to lengthen the games life. 

woopty_doo
woopty_doo

Looks like an improved version of GTA+Arkham City, which is awesome.  Not sure why you'd want to drop a game like that.  Good that SE picked it up.  Looking forward to it!

Briantb_2008
Briantb_2008

They probaly drooped it because the other two true crime games where not that good and didnt gross that much.

BlueYonderBoy
BlueYonderBoy

I wish I could be excited about this game but the last two True Crime games were such garbage. Hopefully I'm wrong, however, I got a feeling Activision cancelled it for a reason.

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

A story "every bit as rich" as Mass Effect? I hope he's referring to the first game and the first game only.

hadlee73
hadlee73

Sleeper hits are hits that no one see coming. Unfortunately since Fischer has now told us that it will be a sleeper hit it can no longer be a sleeper hit :P 

wasakawaka
wasakawaka

Dead island was all hype, pretty but repetitive it felt like work playing it.

dannyaq
dannyaq

I remember when people called activision stupid from dropping brutal legend.  and then look at what happened.  sales were tepid and it seems as if activision made a good call.  Not saying it wasn't a great game, but any company will care about sales over critical reception.  They arn't in the business of trying to get kudos.

 

thetarget
thetarget

Because making a new game is risk. And shareholders hate risks. This is how business people ruin gaming

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

Dead Island was not a sleeper hit.  If I remember correctly, Dead Island was overall panned and there will not be a second one.  In what way is that a sleeper hit?

nima_metal90
nima_metal90

U knw I have a bad feeling about activision

lensflare15
lensflare15

It's not something they can sell millions of copies with, that's probably why. It looks like solid game though, and I'm looking forward to this.

Uesugi-dono
Uesugi-dono

Activision: "How can we monetize a game with an asian protagonist, 3rd person, and no terrorists or russians!  Guffaw.  Pass."

deon99
deon99

as rich as Masseffect? they may have been using when they said that.

vivalatour
vivalatour

I would still want to know just how much Square Enix did on this game ? it must have been hard on a designers pride to give up something that looks time consuming ?

 well I have this game paid in full already , "I AM NOT GIVING UP" ...

ihsan2086
ihsan2086

Well, trailer looks great... but who know it comes out... 

polterdice
polterdice

It's a bit of a read, but I think it clears up some confusion.  For everyone wondering how the title was renamed, I like to think it went something like this...

 

United Front Games meets Square Enix.

 

Bobby Kotick (Activision):  What are we doing here?

Stefan Wessels (United Front Games):  We're finding a publisher.

Kotick:  Off a pack of f***ing Square Enix? What's wrong with you? This will get messy.

Wessels:  Not if you're here.

Kotick:  Oh, you bastard. I f***ing hate Square Enix.

Square Enix Employee named Potter:  That's a flash franchise, mister.

Wessels:  Not as flash as your publisher, now is it?

Potter:  Who are you looking for?

Wessels:  Mr. Fischer.

Potter:  Want me to get him?

Wessels:  That's a good lad.

Kotick:  Piss off.

Wessels:  Are you going to go get him for me?

Potter:  Yeah.

Wessels:  What are you waiting for?

Potter:  The five dollars you'll pay me.

Wessels:  F*** off, I'll find him meself.

Potter:  Two fifty.

Wessels:  You can have a dollar.

Potter:  You're a real tight f***er.

Narrator:  There was a problem with Square Enix.

Mike Fischer (Square Enix US):  What're you doing, Potter? Get out of the way, man.

Narrator:  You can't understand what's being said.

Fischer:  You Stefan? Come about the publisher?

Wessels:  Mr. Fischer.

Fischer:  F***, man. Call me Mike.

Narrator:  Not business, not gaming.

Wessels:  How are you?

Fischer:  Well, the weather's been kind but the (babbling).

Narrator:  It's just Square Enix.

*Kotick appears*

Fischer:  F*** me, would you look at the size of him? How big are you? Hey guys, how big is he?

Potter:  Big man, that's for sure.

Fischer:  Hey, Lee, come and look at the size of this fella. Bet you publish a little, can't you, sir? Ahhh... you look like a publisher.

Lee Singleton (Square Enix London):  Get out of the way, Mike. See if they'd like a game.

Fischer:  Uh, I could FPS one.

Singleton:  Be no FPSing done around here, I don't mind tellin ya.

Fischer to Potter:  Get your hands out of there, you cheeky little shite.

Fischer:  A teabag for the big fella?

Singleton:  Don't be silly, Mike. Offer the man a proper game.

Fischer to Potter:  Ah, you little bugger.

Singleton:  Is the big fella not coming with us?

Wessels:  Nah, Kotick's minding the franchise "True Crime".

Singleton:  What's he think we are, tieves?

Wessels:  No, nothing like that, Mr. Singleton. He just likes … looking after franchises.

Fischer:  Good Sleeping Dags.  D'ya like "Sleeping Dags"? 

Wessels:  Sleeping Dags?

Fischer:  What?

Singleton: Yeah, Sleeping Dags.

Fischer:  "Sleeping Dags".  D'ya like "Sleeping Dags"?

Wessels:  Oh, "Sleeping Dogs".  Sure, I like "Sleeping Dags".  I like publishers more.

Fischer:  Hm.

Singleton:  You're very welcome.

Narrator:  Square Enix is well-known for their skills of negotiation in business. It's probably why they talk like that... so you can't follow what's being said. But if Wessels can get Square Enix for less than the price asked... on his return there will be ice cream. Good "Sleeping Dogs", good family.

pszone
pszone

 

This game looks set to be the best one and Activevision so stupid to let it go because there movie games are flop this year and ya. And im thxing sqaureEnix picking this up.

 

Jamo12
Jamo12

I loved the True Crime series and will defiantly look into this, strange name change though.

rnimski
rnimski

 @essam24 *China.  I get it we all look the same, but really? really...

ansabalirai
ansabalirai

 @AuronAXE HAHA, yeah.... Well even if it is anything close to the second one, it'll be ok.....

But not MASS EFFECT 3!!!!!!

LightRukia
LightRukia

 @dannyaq Companies like Atlus do seem to value critical reception over sales look at niche games they bring over that barely sometimes never at all hit million sales. Not all companies are all about money.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

@gatsbythepig Um yeah. I enjoyed it! And the sequel is in the works now. It was overhyped is all. Otherwise it was a great game. Maybe you don't have any friends that you could have played it with ;(

4-Legged-Shark
4-Legged-Shark

 @gatsbythepig The game was not really panned, it received mixed but generally positive reviews, but the reviews don't matter, what matters are the sales, and it sold very well. It was a sleeper hit by virtue of its sales alone. 

squallgunblade7
squallgunblade7

 @deon99 Square Enix has proven time after time they can make better story driven games than bioware mass effect is failing mass effect 1 was the only good 1 but still its story could not compare to the older final fantasy, chrono trigger and so much more

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

 @polterdice That was both mental and hilarious at the same time.  I feel like i've just watched a film with subtitles :P

cjf187x
cjf187x

 @Jamo12 Yeah I loved the True Crime series too.  Kind of glad that Activision let this one go, because while they did make some minor improvements between LA and NYC, there wasn't much difference, considering their history of innovation.  They had to change the name because they didn't buy the name for the game.  Just as well as people can make comparisons but it's a very different animal.  Pre-ordered.

bluespire1
bluespire1

 Ditto I don't like the Games name

M3o5nster
M3o5nster

 @Jamo12 Sleeping dogs look calm, but if you wake them, they may bite.

dakan45
dakan45

 @CeasdRedemption  @stifstumik soooo wtf that means exactly? making games takes time and effort, you might argue recyclement but you really have no idea how its done. They did have to make the story, the gameplay, make the scritps, the models and the textures, so the only argument here is that they did not risk a new ip and that they are out of ideas, which are both things that the entire industry is guilty on.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

@LightRukia @dannyaq The budget on an Altus game is about 10% that of the average activision game. That is what the difference between a AAA studio is. Do you really think Altus is going to spend millions just on voice acting. Do you think atlus has ever used mo cap work or studio. They publish games from 10 men studios. Activision publishes games from 200 men studios.

Briantb_2008
Briantb_2008

 @squallgunblade7 Yes they have proven they can but I honestly care very little for any Square Enix games the last few years. FF is not the game it once was the last good one was X. The gameplay and story has been lacking in the last couple games. I did enjoy Deus Ex: Human Revolution it was a well made game with a very intersting story if not a bit predictable.

 

polterdice
polterdice

 @true_gamer007 It's my adaptation from the film/script "Snatch"; it seemed to fit well with only a few minor tweaks.

cjf187x
cjf187x

 @Jamo12 Additionally, I think Square was smart bringing in GSP to help with the martial arts aspect of the game.

LightRukia
LightRukia

@inaka_rob: Really? So you somehow know the exact budget limit for ALL of the games Atlus has published  and you somehow know the budget for all of Activision's published games as well? Doubt it. Also lol at saying Activision is AAA a studio the only thing they're AAA at is making money, their games however are different story. Also do you really think Activision is spending millions on their voice acting? I doubt they spend alot of millions making their COD games. Also lol at thinking you know exactly how many men are in ALL of Atlus's publish games. Stop acting like your assumptions are facts.

squallgunblade7
squallgunblade7

 @Briantb_2008 don't count ff out yet we still getting final fantasy versus and what i know of it it seems to be awesome  well if you own a ps3 i can't wait to play ffv13